I was watching an episode of the Hansen vs predator series.
In the show, there is a random guy called Chris Hansen who goes online and pretends to be a 13-year-old girl. When people chat with him, he tries to steer the discussion towards a sexual level, such as saying "I'm just coming out of the shower", etc. He then lures them into his house, where there is a real-life decoy, a 19-year-old girl. After some talking, the decoy goes away and Chris Hansen appears. He then starts to question them and "lets them go" out of the garage, where the police then arrest them. They are charged with "criminal attempt to commit risk of injury to a minor".
My understanding is that Chris Hansen is a totally random guy who does not work for the government, meaning he is not an undercover police agent. The question is, why is Chris Hansen not charged with criminal impersonation? Chris Hansen operates in Fairfield, Connecticut.
In Connecticut criminal impersonation is defined as (Conn. Gen. Stat. § 53a-130 (2021)):
(a) A person is guilty of criminal impersonation when such person: (1) Impersonates another and does an act in such assumed character with intent to obtain a benefit or to injure or defraud another;
It appears to me that he is impersonating another person, a 13-year old little girl, and acting in this assumed character with the intent to obtain a benefit, namely the money from the subscribers of his show, and to injure another, namely making them go to jail.
(5) with intent to defraud, deceive or injure another, uses an electronic device to impersonate another and such act results in personal injury or financial loss to another or the initiation of judicial proceedings against another.
It looks to me he is impersonating another (a little girl of 13 years old), with intent to deceive him (have him think he is a 13-years old girl while he actually isn't), and such act results in the initiation of judicial proceedings against another (the charges against his victims).
(b) The provisions of subdivision (5) of subsection (a) of this section shall not apply to a law enforcement officer acting in the performance of his or her official duties.
Seems not to apply since Chris Hansen is not a law enforcement officer.
Note: This is not a duplicate of Can questions of private investigator without Miranda warning be used in trial?. The facts of the case are the same, but the legal question being raised here (is Hansen committing a crime?) is very different to that question (is Hansen gathering useable evidence).